Reed and mud collection

Haapsalu Bay, Estonia

reed_haapsalu_bay_303x148 Matsalu and Haapsalu Bays on the West coast of Estonia offer ideal brackish water conditions for reed. About 26% of Haapsalu and 35% of Matsalu Bay areas are covered by reed beds or a mixture of reed with other high plants. Both bays are very shallow and nutrient rich due to considerable input of nutrient by rivers. Continuing post-glacial land uplifting also contributes to the extension of reed areas.

Both bays are important bird sanctuaries and the Matsalu Bay has been designated as an internationally important RAMSAR area. The inner part of Haapsalu bay is well-known for its curative mud.

Use of reed and possible conflicts

Reed has been extensively used for a long time. It provided a good construction material for thatching and insulation but has also been used as a biofuel. These uses are relevant also for nowadays developers, although reed roofs are expensive and wider use of reed as a biofuel is still on an experimental stage. Reed beds can play an important role in removal of nutrients from water systems including post treatment of wastewater as it is the case with wastewaters from Haapsalu city. Therefore, possible conflicts between using of common reed and other resources as well as ecosystem services provided by reed beds require identification of critical coastal areas and appropriate management measures to land and sea uses as well as proper public participation in decision making.

Further information:

logo_tutArvo Iital
Tallinn University of Technology
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